Classiest Black Female Celebrities

Black American

1. Philicia Rashad

2. Condoleeza Rice

3. Dianne Carrol

4. Michelle Obama

5. Lynne Witfield



1. Joceylyn Dumas


2. Linda Ikeji


3. Bucie


4. Khanyi Dlomo

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5. Wendy Luhabe


6. Toyin Lawani





Most influential or great Black Americans of All Time

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr

2. Barack Obama

When Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president of the United States in November 2008, “never in my lifetime” was the popular refrain, especially among older African-Americans from the Jim Crow South who remembered grandparents who had been enslaved. Obama’s mixed race background (Kenyan father, white Midwestern mother), Ivy League pedigree (Columbia, Harvard Law), community activism on Chicago’s tough South Side as well as stints as an Illinois and U.S. senator, made him uniquely qualified to guide the nation in a more multiracial and globally-dependent 21st century.

Engaging the youth, Obama, heavily assisted by social media, made “Yes, we can” more than a campaign slogan. As POTUS, he’s been confronted with Tea Party politics full of racist undertones and blamed for spillover from George W. Bush’s presidency. Still, the President, wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha represent African-Americans at their best every day.

3. Oprah Winfrey

4. Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey A visionary pan-African leader and thinker. A practical man, he could have united all blacks if he had not been jailed.

5. Malcolm X

6. Frederick Douglas

7. Claude Anderson

8. Thurgood Marshall-

Using the law to serve African Americans, Thurgood Marshall tried many cases before the Supreme Court, winning 29 out of 32 actually. Still, none have been more critical than 1954’s landmark Brown v. Board victory overturning the Plessy v. Ferguson decision that had legally sanctioned a “separate but equal” doctrine since 1896. A 1933 graduate of the Howard University School of Law, the Baltimore native’s action was deliberate as he followed his teacher and mentor Charles Hamilton Houston to the NAACP where they launched the strategic plan to topple Jim Crow one legal challenge at time, slowly chipping away at its infrastructure.

Appointed the nation’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice in 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Marshall expanded his role in righting the Constitution in the very hall that he had challenged it, ensuring that liberty and equality applied to all Americans until his retirement in 1991.

9. Neely Fuller

10. Frances Cress Welsing






Black American Media Outlets



TV One



Print Magazine-




Black Enterprise

Vibe Magazine

XXL Magazine

Online Magazine and Website –

1., 13,480,000 average monthly unique visitors, up 90 percent from 2015.
2. Huffington Post Black Voices, 6,330,000, up 25 percent.
3. The Root, 4,875,000, down 68 percent.
4., 4,445,000, up 27 percent.
5., 4,226,000, down 46 percent.
6., 4,058,000, down 10 percent.
7., 3,937,000, down 66 percent
8., 3,005,000, down 37 percent.
9., 2,759,000, up 259 percent., 2,190,000, down 23 percent.

#1 – Amber Books: This Phoenix-based publishing company is the nation’s largest African-American publisher of self-help books and music biographies. The founder/CEO is Tony Rose, an NAACP Image Award Winner.

#2 – Black Classic PressFounded in 1978, Black Classic Press is devoted to publishing obscure and significant works by and about people of African descent. They specialize in republishing works that are out of print and quite often out of memory.

#3 – Urban Ebooks: Launched in 2016, this publishing company publishes educational and empowering e-books for African American and other minority readers. All of their books are $3 or less and can be instantly downloaded to computers, tablets, and smart phones.

#4 – Third World Press: Third World Press provides quality literature that primarily focuses on issues, themes, and critique related to an African American public. Their mission is to make this literature accessible to as many individuals as possible including our targeted market of primarily African American readers.

#5 – Triple Crown Publications: This company is one of the first major publishers of urban fiction books. It’s founder and CEO is best-selling author and world-renowned publisher Vickie Stringer.

#6 – Smiley BooksFounded by media pioneer Tavis Smiley in 2004 as a co-publishing venture with Hay House Inc., SmileyBooks is a general trade book publisher that specializes in quality nonfiction.

#7 – Life Changing Books: Established in 2003, this publishing company offers a variety of African American literature including contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, urban/ street literature, and more. Azarel, the founder/CEO launched the company with her own self-published title

Blacktech companies and apps- black version of facebook black version of myspace – Black version of airbnb Black version of Uber

WhereU App: An App Making Sure You Don’t Forget Where You Come From
Want to find a local Black-owned business nearest you? Cue the birth of WhereU, a phone app helping users locate and patronize their community’s Black businesses. Moreover, the app encourages Black consumers to pump $1.3 trillion of their shared buying power back into the African-American community.

Ebonomy: Connecting Black Businesses with Black Consumers
Black economic website Ebonomy is a contemporary resource for Black businesses to become accessible to consumers looking to patronize them. Business owners simply sign up to have their companies indexed for easy access by Black buyers. “In order to engage in cooperative economics, we must be able to find Black businesses and sources of information,” Ebonomy Chief Technology Officer Clayton Allen told ABS. “Ebonomy is a way to organize the resources, including businesses and other types of websites from the Black community, while also making these resources searchable.”




10 Black people Fox News does not want on TV

1. Jason Black


2. Professor Black Truth


3. Claude Anderson

4. Neely Fuller

5. Umar Johnson

6. Tariq Nasheed

7. General Yahanna

ISUPK’s regional director, General Yahanna, defended the group, saying residents’ real issue was not sound, but the group’s message.[6] The group identifies its message as saving local residents’ souls and discouraging people from drugs and crime; it regards its separatist teachings as the real objection residents have

8. Jesse Williams

9. Jeremiah Wright


Top HBCU’s in America

Rising from an historic environment of legal segregation, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established prior to 1964 with the intention of offering accredited, high-quality education to African American students across the United States. These schools do, however, admit students of all races. As of January 2016, students can choose from 100 HBCUs across America, including public and private schools, 2-year and 4-year schools, and professional schools.

The best historically black colleges for 2016 were determined by considering each school’s academic standards, affordability, outcomes, and student support. The following school profiles explore the legacies, present successes and ongoing initiatives of each institution.




  1. Howard University  Washington,D.C   $586 104,000 Endowment


$23,970 (2015-16)


Howard University counts each of its distinguished faculty among its on-campus population of the largest concentration of black scholars anywhere in the world. Here, 93% of students are African-American. Introductory Afro-American studies courses are required in all undergraduate curriculum, whether pursuing a traditional major or as part of the school’s renowned Afro-American and African studies program. The university founded Omega Psi Phi and Phi Beta Sigma, two of the nation’s leading black fraternities; the campus is also home to Howard University TV, the first African-American owned public TV station in the U.S.

  • Howard’s MBA program was recently named the “greatest opportunity for minority students” by Princeton Review
  • The school has awarded more than 100,000 degrees since 1867

Alumni –

2. Spelman College   Atlanta, Georgia


Tuition and fees:
$26,388 (2015-16)

Spelman is the nation’s oldest historically black college for women, transforming into a leader among educational institutions for women since starting out as a Baptist female seminary in 1881. Today, Spelman offers a variety of majors to its enrollment of more than 2,100 students; popular topics include biological and biomedical sciences, English, physical science, psychology and social sciences. The college is home to more than 70 student organizationscentered on academic achievement, personal enrichment opportunities and Greek life, including historically black sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta.


  • The college reports a 76% graduation rate average over the past six years
  • Spelman offers 27 available majors



3. Morehouse University   Atlanta, Georgia

Founded in 1867, Morehouse College, a private liberal arts institution for men, has traditionally graduated more black men than any other school. Morehouse promotes leadership and service through three primary program areas: business administration and economics; humanities and social sciences; and science and mathematics. Visionaries Martin Luther King Jr. and Spike Lee are among the many notable Morehouse alumni. The mission of Morehouse includes adopting the unique responsibility of educating students about black history and culture through special programs and scholarship opportunities, including the Rugari Scholarship Program, which provides full tuition to five students from the African Great Lakes Region.


  • Morehouse celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017
  • Students at Morehouse represent more than 40 states and 14 countries


4. Hampton University  Hampton, Virginia


Hampton has earned an esteemed reputation among top HBCUs for its commitment to both African-American education and the multicultural community. The Hampton campus is the historical site of the majestic Emancipation Oak, under which classes for freed men and women were held between 1861 and 1863; the tree was also the setting for the first Southern reading of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. On campus today, 90% of current enrollment is African-American. Among Hampton’s many unique attributes is the establishment of theSkin of Color Research Institute for research and treatment of skin diseases afflicting people of color.


  • Programs at Hampton are designed to promote progressive education
  • The School of Business was named the best department in the nation in 2005 by the National Urban Leagues’ Black Executive Exchange Program


5. North Carolina AT and T University    Greensboro, North Carolina


North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University leads the nation among engineering- and agriculture degree-granting institutions for African-Americans. Founded in 1891 as a land-grant institute, NC A&T was at the core of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Esteemed alumni include The Greensboro Four, who staged the nation’s first sit-in, and activist Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. Historically black fraternities and sororities, including Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha, are among the popular Greek life options on campus; students also participate in large numbers in the NCAA Division I Aggies team and the Blue and Gold Marching Machine.


  • Home to enrollment of more than 10,000 and more than 2,000 employees
  • NC A&T is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a doctoral/research


7. Xavier University     New Orleans

Although Xavier was originally founded in 1915 as a high school for African Americans and Native Americans, the school added a four-year university in 1925. Today, Xavier continues its universal mission of promoting leadership- and service-based education initiatives. Current enrollment totals roughly 3,100 students, 73% of which are black and 27% are Catholic. All undergraduates study core topics that include 66 combined credits in African-American studies, natural sciences and theology. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Xavier is first in the nation in terms of producing African-American graduates with dual undergraduate degrees in biological/life sciences and the physical sciences.


  • One of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana; among the top three producers of Doctor of Pharmacy degrees to African-Americans in the nation
  • Xavier is awarded 522 degrees in 2013

7. Texas Southern University Houston


7. Tuskegee University       Tuskeegee, Alabama

A premiere science and engineering university known for facilitating groundbreaking research, Tuskegee University has built a reputation as one of the top producers of African-American aerospace science engineers in the U.S. Tuskegee’s is the only campus in the U.S. to be declared a National Historic Site by the U.S. Congress since it was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881. The university’s roughly 3,000 students are active in a variety of student organizations on campus, including the Marching Crimson Piper Band, the National Society of Black Engineers and college chapter of the NAACP.


  • The only HBCU with a fully accredited College of Veterinary Medicine and doctorate offered; Tuskegee produces over 75% of worldwide African-American veterinarians
  • The nursing baccalaureate program was first in Alabama and one of the oldest in the U.S.


8. Fisk University Nashville

Fisk University is a private institution that was founded in 1866. The school has 71.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students, and the student-faculty ratio at Fisk University is 13:1.

9. Florida A and M University  Tallahassee


Florida A&M was originally called the State Normal College for Colored Students when it was founded in 1887; the name of this land-grant university and research institution has changed, but its commitment to African-American education has remained. FAMU’s student population of more than 11,000 is 90% Afro-American, hailing from over 70 countries including Egypt, Trinidad, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil. Among numerous efforts to sustain and strengthen the local economy in Florida through the school’s Center for Plasma Science and Technology (CePaST) and Sustainability Institute, part of FAMU’s strategic plan includes aspirations to increase African-American student involvement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs.


  • FAMU offers 54 bachelor’s degrees, 29 master’s degrees, three professional degrees and 12 doctoral programs
  • Most popular undergraduate programs at FAMU are business administration, biology, criminal justice and allied health

10. Clark Atlanta University   Atlanta



Established in 1988, Clark Atlanta is a private, not-for-profit university affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Programs in 38 unique subjects are offered through four primary schools: Arts and Sciences; Business Administration; Education; and Social Work. In its short history, Clark Atlanta has secured numerous points of pride among its HBCU counterparts, including its designation as one of the largest institutions in the United Negro College Fund and the only university in the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of 8,000 primarily African-American scholars.


  • Clark Atlanta’s enrollment totals 3,485; 74% is female and 26% is male
  • 81% of the school’s faculty have terminal degrees


11. Texas Southern University


Game Changers : Black Owned Bank receives 8,000 new bank accounts and $1 million in 5 days

There are 21 African American owned banks with assets totaling approximately $4.7 billion or approximately 0.43 percent of African America’s $1.3 trillion in buying power. In 1994, there were 54 African American owned banks according to the FDIC. Now, there are 21.

In other words 99% of Black Americans put their money in Non Black Banks

Goal push that to at least 15% of Black spending Power

or $150 billion dollars

10 Largest Black owned Banks


In the past two years, we have financed over $100 million in loans – most in low to moderate income communities such as South Central, Compton, Liberty City and Roxbury. However, we never participated in subprime lending. We have always experienced low loan losses.

Our growth has been through acquiring community banks across the country that are equally dedicated to our mission including – Founders National Bank of Los Angeles, Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles, California, Boston Bank of Commerce in Boston,Massachusetts and People’s National Bank of Commerce in Miami, Florida.

Locations – Los Angeles, Miami, Boston

Founded: August 02, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $590 624 000


Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: January 02, 1965

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $573,168, 000




Liberty, one of the nation’s largest African-American-owned banks, has 20 branches in four states, including locations in Kansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The Douglass National deal raises Liberty’s asset base to $545 million. 


Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana | Baton Rouge-Louisiana | Kansas City, Missouri | Dallas, Texas

Founded: November 16, 1972

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $545,019,000



Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: June 18, 1921

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $392 286 000


Location: Los Angeles, California | Inglewood, CA

Founded: February 26, 1947

FDIC Region: San Francisco

Assets: $385 055 000



Location: Newark, New Jersey

Founded: June 11, 1973

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $340 301 000



Location: Washington, DC

Founded: August 18, 1934

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $342 524 000




Location: Durham, North Carolina

Founded: March 01, 1908

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $304,809,000


Highest Grossing Black Hollywood Films

1. Black Panther-$1.3 Billion 3rd highest grossing U.S film and the 8th highest worldwide



With more than $100 million in ticket sales in just its first two weekends, we think Straight Outta Compton is on its way to becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Total Sales – $310 million

Movie Setting Los Angeles, California

 3. The Pursuit of Happyness $307 million


Location San Francisco

4. COMING TO AMERICA – $288 million

Even those of us too young to see this Eddie Murphy classic in theaters back when it originally was released in 1988 have laughed hard enough since then to understand how it pulled in $128 million in ticket sales at the height of the comedian’s career. In overseas sales, the film did even better, bringing in $160 million.

5.  Dr. DoLittle $284 million




6. BAD BOYS II – $273 million

It’s rare that a sequel outgrosses the original, but that’s exactly what happened with 2003’s Bad Boys II. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence managed to pull in $273 million worldwide while the original Bad Boys only grossed $141 million.

7. The Nutty Professor – $274 million

8. Hidden Figures $236 million


9. THE HELP – $215 million

If you saw The Help in theaters you were in good company. The film grossed more than $169 million domestically and another $46 million in overseas ticket sales.

10. THE BUTLER – $177 million

Lee Daniels’ The Butler was the top-grossing Black film of 2013, and one of the top 10 highest-grossing Black films of all time. With $116 million in domestic box-office earnings, it inducted Lee Daniels into the exclusive club of directors whose films have earned more than $100 million at the box office.

11. BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE-$173 million

This film wasn’t critically acclaimed at all when it was released in 2000, but fans showed it a lot of love by handing over more than $117 million in domestic box-office ticket sales. Overseas, the film raked in another $56 million.

12. The Nutty Professor 2 : The Klumps $173 million



13. DREAMGIRLS-$155 million

Back in 2006, a lot of people spent their Christmas break in the movie theater singing along with Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé. With the help of music fans, Dreamgirls grossed $103 million domestically and another $51 million overseas.

14. RIDE ALONG – $155 million


If there were any questions left about Ice Cube’s ability to deliver box-office gold, he answered them all with 2014’s Ride Along. It spent three weeks at No.1 and even outgrossed Are We There Yet? with an impressive $134 million in domestic box-office earnings

 15. Girls Trip $155 million


16. Bad Boyz $141 million


 17. Selma $140 million


18. Big Mommas House 2 $137 million



19. Ray $124 million


20. Boomerang $126 million



21. A TIME TO KILL $108 million

Have you seen the classic movie A Time To Kill? This Samuel L. Jackson-led thriller captivated audiences in 1996 and pulled in $108 million domestically.

22. ARE WE THERE YET?-$113 million

Audiences weren’t sure what to think when Ice Cube transitioned from gangster rap to family films, but considering the success of Are We There Yet? it was clear that he knew what he was doing. This movie proved Ice Cube’s versatility and grossed more than $97 million, counting domestic and international numbers.


23. THINK LIKE A MAN-$113 million


When this Steve Harvey book was turned into a film in 2012, fans showed their love by helping it earn almost $96 million at the domestic box office.

24. Little Man $101 million


25. The Color Purple $96 million


26. 42 $97 million


27. Harlem $95 million



28. Madea Goes to Jail $90 million


29. Waiting to Exhale $82 million


30. Barbershop $77 million



30 Best Black American Sitcoms

1. The Cosby Show (1984-1992) 8 years

Network: NBC

Show setting – Brooklyn, New York

Worst kept secret ever, right? After running for eight seasons on NBC and receiving accolades as one of the best TV shows of the 1980s, The Cosby Show is the best black sitcom ever produced. Building on the strengths of its trailblazing predecessors, The Cosby Show has been credited by TV Guide with “almost single-handedly reviving the sitcom genre” and NBC after ABC chose not to pick it up—big mistake. It’s been over 28 years since the show premiered on NBC, and ABC still has to be salty about their decision to pass. Shows like The Cosby Show—which served as the model for so many modern sitcoms—only come around once. Mistakes happen though; the Portland Trailblazers did pass on Michael Jordan in 1984, coincidentally the same year that The Cosby Show began.

For eight magical seasons, The Cosby Show revolved around the Huxtables, a well-to-do African-American family living in a Brooklyn brownstone. Not only were both parents present, they were extremely successful. Cliff was a doctor and Claire was a lawyer. They had five children: four girls and one boy. It went Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy. All five of the Huxtable children were based on Bill Cosby’s actual children, including his late son Ennis who suffered from dyslexia, providing further inspiration for Theo’s character.

Each of the Huxtable children attended college during the show’s run, with the exception of Rudy, and only because she was too young. Denise followed in her parents and grandfather’s footsteps at Hillman College, though she would eventually drop out to find herself through an alternative path, traveling to Africa and eventually marrying a Navy man. The Huxtables represented a nuclear family with successful parents who passed their values along to their children and pushed them to succeed, even when they fought their hardest against it.

By the end of the series, The Cosby Show had built a lineage of success from grandparents to children that hadn’t been seen before on television, regardless of race. The Cosby Show played a huge role in the lives of all races, so when Jim Carey’s character from The Cable Guy referred to himself as “the bastard son of Claire Huxtable,” you understood and believed him.

In spite of its success—Emmy awards, Golden Globes, NAACP Image Awards and People’s Choice Awards—people still managed to criticize the show. It was called unrealistic; people chided it for avoiding the subject of racism and neglecting the struggles of the underclass. If the only complaints were that the show portrayed African-Americans too positively, then there was nothing to complain about at all.

Did the Huxtables represent every black family? No, but neither did the families on previous shows. Not only did The Cosby Show offer a look into the life of an affluent African-American family, it also offered TV’s first look at the HBCU through Hillman College. This paved the way for A Different World, and set up great crossover episodes between the two shows.

The Cosby Show’s guest appearances were almost unmatched: Stevie Wonder, Senator Bill Bradley, Dick Vitale, Jim Valvano, Adam Sandler, and a very young Alicia Keys, just to name a few. Everyone wanted some of the good-natured success.

And you can’t talk about the show without talking about style, as Cliff’s collection of Coogi sweaters will forever be known as “Cosby Sweaters.” The “Gordon Gartrelle” shirt episode will never be forgotten.

The Cosby Show ended during the L.A. Riots, and holds the crown as not only the best black television show, but one of the best televisions shows ever made. There will never be another like it. There can’t be.


2. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)  6 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – Bel Air, Los Angeles, California

In the fall of 1990, a skinny kid from West Philly decided to try his hand at acting. As rap’s first Grammy award-winner, it couldn’t be that hard, right? After making a name for himself as a hip-hop star in the ’80s, a guy named Will Smith found himself in a bit of a financial bind. Consistent cash would fix that. Enter NBC, and an offer to star in a sitcom loosely based on his own life and that of co-producer Benny Medina, who, after growing up in a rough neighborhood, moved in with a wealthy family in Beverly Hills. You know this story.

You know it, because you know the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. A kid gets into some neighborhood beef that scares his mother so badly she sends him to Cali to live with their wealthy family. There, our hero becomes Public Enemy No. 1 in the Banks’ household, except in the eyes of his Aunt Viv and youngest cousin, Ashley. There’s preppy cousin Carlton, with his fondness for Tom Jones. There’s Uncle Phil, or the Honorable Judge Philip Banks. There’s Geoffrey, the wry butler. These are the characters you remember.

This is a moment you’ll never forget: Will’s biological father, Lou, reappears and tries to develop a relationship with his son. Uncle Phil has never respected Lou for abandoning Will and his mother, and doesn’t want to see his nephew hurt again. When that happens, just as Phil predicted, the embrace between Will and his uncle goes down as one of the most heart-wrenching television moments of the 20th century. You watched Will Smith become an actor, the man who would grow to command millions.

During its six-season run on NBC, The French Prince of Bel-Air was a juggernaut. Viewers learned the theme song without trying. Smith even allowed “Summertime,” his classic track recorded with DJ Jazzy Jeff, to fuel the show’s popularity and vice versa. Hell, the legendary DJ landed a role on the show as Will’s friend, the one whose undying love for Hilary got him regularly ejected from the Banks’ residence.

Love for the ladies was a recurring theme, allowing Will to come across some of the baddest women of the time: Stacey Dash, Tyra Banks, Robin Givens, and Nia Long. Furthermore, the The Fresh Prince had a storied history of guest appearances that we chronicled right here.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was the perfect complement and eventual successor to The Cosby Show, as it depicted an upper-class African-American family that wasn’t out of touch with the realities of black America. It wasn’t quite as funny as Martin, but it dealt with a broader range of subjects. That makes it one of the better television shows of all-time—period.
3. A Different World (1987-1993) 6 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – Richmond, Virginia

“That’s a different world like Cree Summer’s.”

This reference to the Winifred “Freddie” Brooks character played by Cree Summer is one of many A Different World nods from the college dropout himself, Kanye West.

The Cosby Show spinoff followed Denise Huxtable as she followed in her parents’ footsteps at the esteemed HBCU, Hillman College. Denise dropped out (or rather, was written out because of Lisa Bonet’s pregnancy), and the show shifted its focus to the frustratingly prissy Whitley Gilbert and he of the flip-shades, Dwayne Wayne.

Not only did A Different World show historically black fraternities and sororities at work on Hillman’s campus, it also dared to talk about date rape, skin tone, class struggle, the Persian Gulf War, domestic violence, and the L.A. riots. It was one of the first television shows—black or otherwise—to address HIV and AIDS.

Executive producer Debbie Allen deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the show’s far-reaching seriousness, as she drew on her own experiences at Howard University when creating the world of Hillman.

A Different World’s connection to The Cosby Show allowed for several crossover episodes between the two, but the level of star power went far deeper than that. The list of important greats and soon-to-be-megastars is enormous: Diahann Carroll. Patti LaBelle. Richard Roundtree. Gladys Knight. Jesse Jackson. Heavy D. En Vogue. Whoopi Goldberg. Halle Berry.

Hell, 2Pac even popped up as Lena’s boyfriend from back home, allowing viewers to bask in the the well-documented chemistry between Shakur and his old friend Jada Pinkett-Smith. Lena also came face-to-face with her namesake, the legendary Lena Horne, during the show’s final season.

For bravery of subject matter dealt with and for the premise alone—young black people at college—A Different World is one of the most important (and best) TV shows in hisotry.

4. Martin (1992-1997)  5 years

Network: Fox

Show Setting – Detroit, Michigan

Very few programs remain every bit as entertaining over 15 years after their conclusion as Martin, a show about a big-eared radio DJ from Detroit with enough personality for an entire cast. Fox was the network to watch back in the 1990s, rivaling the popularity of NBC’s “Must See TV” block of Thursday night programming with a lineup that drew an engaged urban audience. Between New York Undercover, Living Single, and Martin, Fox’s Thursday night lineup ran the triangle offense better than the Chicago Bulls did in the 1990s. During the 1996-1997 television season, these shows were the three highest rated programs among African-American households, with Martin serving as the jump-off for one of the best two hours of television ever organized.

Comedian and actor Martin Lawrence played Martin Payne, a DJ for WZUP (and eventually the host of his own talk show, “Word on the Street”). Central to the show was Martin’s relationship with Gina Waters, the large-headed (literally) love of his life. They broke up and got back together throughout the series, but their genuine love provided a complement to the show’s constant comedy.

Also important were Martin’s relationships with his biggest adversary, Gina’s best friend, Pam James, and his two best friends, the comically inept Cole Brown and the tall, bald, and possibly unemployed Tommy Strawn.

Beyond the central cast, the wild gang of side characters played by Lawrence regularly stole the spotlight. Martin had no problem dressing up in drag to play his too-hood-for-her-own-good neighbor Sheneneh, or Martin’s mother, the mustached Mama Payne. Lawrence’s other legendary characters include Jerome the has-been Detroit pimp, Dragonfly Jones, Bob from Marketing, Roscoe, and Otis.

From Jim’s Barbershop to Nipsey’s Lounge, Martin had classic locations where the main cast ran into other hilarious characters, like Tracy Morgan’s Hustle Man. Even when Martin retired to the solace of his own home, he couldn’t escape unexpected visits from Bruh-man, who climbed through the window before using that infamous slow bop to help himself to whatever he wanted from Martin’s apartment. Martin also had numerous amazing guest stars like Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams, Keith Washington, Snoop Dogg, Tommy Hearns, Randall Cunningham, Method Man, Jodeci, and even Biggie. No show is landing cameos like that.

Not only was Martin instrumental in African-American culture and hip-hop culture, it played a role in popular culture that can’t be argued. How else would Complex be able to compose a guide of the show’s sneaker history? Despite only being on the air for five seasons, Martin left behind so many great characters and scenes that kids will be getting disciplined at school forever thanks to syndication. Think about it like this: two decades have passed since the show began, and people are still talking about how they “can’t pay the five.” That says a lot.

5. Sanford and Son (1972-1977)  5 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – Los Angeles, California

The South Central L.A. neighborhood of Watts received a surprising amount of love from TV during the 1970s, with the most coming from Sanford and Son. The U.S. version of the British show Steptoe and Son, Sanford and Son gave black America a slightly less abrasive answer to Archie Bunker. Played by the legendary Red Foxx, Fred Sanford was a wily old coot who constantly insulted others with his quick wit. The most frequent target of his jabs? His son, Lamont, who helped him sell antiques and, well, junk.

Lamont longed to step out on his own and live a life free of his father’s critiques, but his genuine love for his old man—and Sanford’s constant threats—kept him around. It was just the two of them, as Fred’s beloved wife and Lamont’s mother, Elizabeth, had long since passed away. In the show (and Foxx’s) most famous gag, Sanford would threaten to join her in Heaven via a heart attack in a desperate attempt to get his way.

In addition to providing a model for the successful African-American sitcom, Sanford and Son was a smash hit across audiences. Even when Foxx temporarily left the show because of a contract dispute, its popularity never flagged. The show lives on through the character of Fred Sanford, and through every rap song that’s ever sampled the theme.
6. The Jeffersons (1975-1985)  10 years

Network: CBS

Show Setting – New York, New York

The Jeffersons represented the American Dream. With 11 seasons, it’s one of the longest-running sitcoms on American television, and it all began as a simple spin-off of All in the Family. That’s right, notorious racist Archie Bunker deserves some credit for bringing George Jefferson into the world.

The Jeffersons focused on George and Louise Jefferson, who happen upon a large sum of money. Along with their son Lionel, they moved from Queens to a deluxe apartment in the sky—a luxury high-rise in Manhattan. Florence, their housekeeper, provided comic relief, frequently spazzing on George because of his hairline and height. Both attributes became Sherman Hemsley’s trademarks, along with his signature dance.

The Jeffersons remained popular well into the 1980s. During its eighth season, it became the first African-American sitcom since Sanford and Son to crack the top five in ratings. It amassed 13 Emmy nominations, and in 1981, Isabel Sanford (who played Louise, or “Weezie,” as she was known) became the second black actress to win the award for Best Actress.

After The Jeffersons ended in 1985, Hemsley and Sanford continued to reprise their roles on other shows, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where they bought the Banks’ house in the series finale. Hemsley and Marla Gibbs appeared as George and Florence on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne before Hemsley’s death last summer at the age of 74.

7. The Boondocks (2005-2009) 4 years

Network: Cartoon Network

Show Setting – Chicago

Aaron McGruder should go down as one of the bravest and most intelligent creative minds in the history of entertainment for transforming his comic strip, The Boondocks, into a pop culture phenomenon, one of the most important television programs—animated or not—ever created. The strip was first printed in the University of Maryland, College Park’s student newspaper under then-editor Jayson Blair. McGruder succeeded in selling its rights to Sony Pictures after the comic crept into The Source.

The animated series focuses on the Freeman family, who have moved from Chicago’s South Side to the white suburb of Woodcrest. From this juxtaposition comes some of the best satire and social analysis to hit the small screen.

Brothers Huey and Riley, though at different stages of their lives, often find themselves fighting against a common cause or enemy, with hilarious results. Their grandfather, known as “Grandad,” their sole guardian, regularly gets in over his head. But ask viewers and they’ll mention one character: Uncle Ruckus, the scene-stealing Uncle Tom, who made viewers cringe in the same way that Django Unchained’s Stephen did late in 2012. Of course, you can’t forget rapper Thugnificent, whose downward spiral into the world of the Average Joe was brilliant, sad, and funny.

The genius of The Boondocks is its lampooning of current events and important figures. Few are safe from the show’s darts. Past targets include Bill Cosby, Tyler Perry, and most famously, BET. McGruder’s decision to take on factions and figures that are considered “untouchable” demonstrate real courage. With three seasons in the vault, fans are patiently waiting for the fourth. Considering some of the world’s events since the third season concluded, a new string of Boondocks episodes is exactly what television needs.

8. Living Single (1993-1998)  5 years

Network: Fox

Show Setting – Brooklyn, New York

It’s only natural that Complex offer some love for a show featuring a magazine editor as the protagonist. Living Single starred Queen Latifah as Khadijah James, the mastermind behind Flavor, a fictional monthly. James lived in Brooklyn with her cousin Synclaire and friend Régine, the would-be diva. Rounding out the bunch was pit bull lawyer Max and their two male counterparts, handyman Overton and “Baker Magic” himself, stockbroker Kyle Barker.

The show ran for five seasons on Fox, and was part of its storied Thursday night lineup. Not only was the show popular for its portrayal of six black twentysomethings trying to make it in New York, it was adored because all of the principal characters were women.

Viewers were hooked on Khadijah’s quest for success, Régine’s quest to live the fabulous life, the sweet relationship between Synclaire and Overton, and blatant sexual tension between Max and Kyle, but they also loved the endless stream of guest appearances. Thanks in part to the popularity of black television at the time and Queen Latifah’s celebrity status, the show was able to attract everyone from Ed McMahon to Grant Hill. Oh, and of course Queen Latifah’s New Jersey protégés Naughty By Nature appeared. It was only right.

9. Family Matters (1989-1998) 9 years

Network: ABC/CBS

Show Setting – Chicago

Nobody thought this Perfect Strangers spin-off would last for nearly a decade, but Family Matters went on to become one of the longest-running sitcoms with a predominantly African-American cast.

Set in Chicago, it told the story of the Winslow family, a middle-class bunch led by parents Carl and Harriette. When the show began, they had three children: Eddie, Laura, and Judy. Sometime after the fourth season, Judy was inexplicably written out, leaving viewers wondering what happened to her years after the show ended. As it turns out, actress Jaimee Foxworth dabbled in the adult entertainment industry and ended up on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Joining the nuclear family at the Winslow home was Carl’s all-knowing mother, Estelle, Hariette’s sister Rachel and her young son Richie. But as history has made clear, the true star of the show was Jaleel White’s Steven Q. Urkel, the annoying neighbor introduced halfway through the show’s first season.

Urkel charmed audiences with his unrequited love for Laura. Of course, the equally nerdy Myra Monkhouse shook this up, a sign that the writers were looking for a change. Not long there after, the “Stefan Urquelle” character was created, and Laura found herself drawn to him despite the fact that he was simply Steve minus the nerdy disguise.

Family Matters was part of ABC’s famous TGIF Friday lineup that kids stayed up for on a weekly basis, fueled by pizza and soda. The show existed in the same fictional universe as other TGIF shows, crossing over with the likes of Perfect Strangers, Step by Step, Full House, and Boy Meets World.

10. The Wayans Bros. (1995-1999)  4 years

Network: The WB

Show Setting – New York, New York

Doing it on your own terms is a Wayans family trait, so from the moment Shawn and Marlon ditched the average sitcom setting and Tribe’s “Electric Relaxation” kicked off the shows’ opening sequence, it’s clear what The Wayans Bros. was about.

Viewers tuned in week after week to watch the two youngest brothers wade through life’s bullshit while living in Harlem. Shawn, the elder sibling, owned a newsstand in Manhattan’s Neidermeyer Building, where Marlon also worked. Just a few feet away, their father had a diner called Pops’ Diner. Over the course of the series, Dee, a security guard who worked in the building, acted as an older sister to the pair. In between, they were occasionally annoyed by White Mike (R.I.P Mitch Mullany), and hung out with T.C. and Dupree.

The show was criticized for alleged “buffoonery,” but that’s far from accurate. A significant part of the show’s early comedy came from Marlon, but he demonstrated his serious acting chops, by surprise, leaving the newsstand to chase his dream of being an actor. As for Shawn, he was the entrepreneur, taking after his father.

The Wayans Bros. enjoyed a five season run on The WB before being unceremoniously cancelled in 1999. As mentioned in Scary Movie, it didn’t even get the respect of a proper final episode. Still, it’s remained popular over a decade after its cancellation, and fans will stop whatever they’re doing when the show comes on television, hoping to catch the episode where Pops and his old singing group, The Temptones, get back together.
11. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972-1985) 13 years

Network: CBS

Show Setting – Phildelphia

Long before he was known as Cliff Huxtable, Bill Cosby was the creative genius behind the legendary animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Loosely based on Cosby’s experiences growing up in North Philadelphia, the Fat Albert character originated during a Cosby stand-up routine. After a primetime special entitled Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert aired on NBC, the network wanted to build a series around the character, but was hesitant to bring it to Saturday mornings fearing it would be to education-heavy. Apparently, nothing’s worse for children than learning. Eventually, Cosby took the series to CBS, where it reigned supreme on Saturday mornings beginning in 1972.

When no one else would, Fat Albert dealt with issues facing children in urban environments. Each of the characters—Fat Albert, Dumb Dumb Donald, Weird Harold, Russell, and Rudy—learned a lesson that was expressed through song every week. This, and Cosby’s celebrity, helped the show last until 1985, making it one of the longest running Saturday morning cartoons ever. Aside from being one of the best animated shows ever, Fat Albert is one of the most iconic cartoon characters ever created.
13. Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1985) 7 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – New York, New York

The show that made Gary Coleman a household name, Diff’rent Strokes told the story of two brothers from Harlem who were adopted by the wealthy businessman that their mother worked for after she passed away. Thank the show for any popular culture and hip-hop references to “Phil Drummond” as a symbol of wealth.

Still, the show’s most well-known characters were Coleman’s Arnold and his older brother Willis, played by Todd Bridges. In fact, Willis might be the show’s most recognized character, thanks to Arnold’s catch-phrase “Whatchu talin’ bout, Willis?” Biggie might’ve called it “played out” on “The What,” but it was the show’s trademark.

Aside from Arnold’s famous question, Diff’rent Strokes was recognized for episodes that focused on serious issues like drugs, molestation, race, violence, and eating disorders. Unfortunately, each of the show’s three child stars (Coleman, Bridges, and Dana Plato) struggled with drug addiction and legal troubles after the show ended. Plato died of a drug overdose in 1999, and Coleman died at 42 after falling and hitting his head in 2010. Only Bridges survived his struggles. Despite the sad ending for the show’s young stars, Diff’rent Strokes will live on as one of the 20th century’s most important programs.
14. Good Times (1974-1979) 5 years

Network: CBS

Show Setting – Chicago, Illinois

A spinoff of Maude, Good Times remains one of the most essential and controversial black television shows ever produced. Created by Cooley High writer Eric Monte, the show focused on the struggles of the Evans family, who lived in a Chicago housing project. Though no one ever came out and said it, the housing project was the notorious Cabrini-Green projects, where Monte grew up.

The main characters included working class parents James and Florida, and their three children. James Jr., or “J.J.” was an animated toothpick; Thelma was the middle sibling; and socially conscious Michael was the youngest. The family was frequently visited by their neighbor Willona, who would later adopt abuse victim Penny (played by a very young Janet Jackson). Every now and then, superintendent Bookman would appear with his tool belt.

Good Times depicted a close-knit family that remained positive despite their difficult living conditions. The show was revered for its depiction of urban life, yet declined to portray African-Americans in a negative light—until J.J. turned into a caricature.

After his “Dy-no-mite!” catchphrase became a national fixation, the producers changed the show’s direction to focus more on his moronic behavior than the Evans family itself. This did not sit well with leads John Amos and Esther Rolle. Disagreements about the show’s direction and a contract dispute led to Amos’ James Sr. character being written off of the show. In arguably (and unfortunately) the show’s most famous moment, Florida yells, “Damn, damn, DAMN!” after learning that James has been killed in a car accident. Shortly after, Rolle left the show, leaving Willona to occasionally check on the children.

Rolle returned for the show’s final season after bargaining with the showrunners, but by then the show’s popularity had faded. Good Times lives on through hip-hop references and syndication. Its theme song was immortalized by Chappelle’s Show’s “I Know Black People” skit. Everybody wondered what the exact lyrics were, but nobody had ever come out and asked. But Dave did. Just another example of Chappelle’s Show brilliance.

15. The Jamie Foxx Show (1996-2001) 5 years

Network: The WB

Show Setting- Los Angeles

In the mid-’90s, quality black television experienced a significant boom, and some could even be found on The WB (remember that?). One such program was The Jaime Foxx Show, based on Foxx’s own experience making it in the entertainment industry.

After moving to L.A. to pursue a career in music, Jamie King works at his aunt and uncle’s hotel to support himself during his quest for success. Featuring a theme song sung by Foxx himself, the show followed his trials and tribulations working at King’s Tower, chasing after Francesca “Fancy” Monroe and consistently playing the shit out of one of the OG cornball brothers, Braxton P. Hartnabrig.

Over a decade after the show went off the air, the NAACP Image Award-winning program is remembered for demonstrating Foxx’s comic timing and singing chops, the word Motherfloodpucker, and abusing “brougham.” It also got plenty of elementary school children in trouble for shoving their hands in the faces of classmates.

One question, though—what happened to Dennis?
16. Girlfriends (2000-2008) 8 years

Network: UPN/The CW

Show Setting – Los Angeles

After the cancellation of Living Single, black women were left without a go-to show. In 2000, the answer arrived: Girlfriends. Set in Cali, the show chronicled the lives of Traci Ellis-Ross’s Joan and her circle of friends, which included the sassy Maya, the carefree Lynn, and Joan’s best friend, the diva that was Toni. The perfectly square Williams, a co-worker of Joan’s, fulfilled the role of requisite guy friend.

Girlfriends dealt with topics like dating, sexuality, parenthood, interracial relationships, and the particular struggles of being black in the 21st century. The show’s writers stayed mindful of current events, working Hurricane Katrina into the plot.

In 2006, The Game premiered, a spinoff of Girlfriends that followed Melanie Barnett. It’s still producing new episodes.

17. Blackish

Network ABC

Show Setting – Los Angeles
18. Sister, Sister (1994-1999) 6 years

Network: ABC/The WB

Show Setting – Detroit, Michigan

What are the odds that twin sisters who were separated at birth would wind up meeting 14 years later? That was the premise for Sister, Sister, which starred Tia and Tamera Mowry as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell. The two couldn’t have been more different, but blood is thicker than water. In addition to being polar opposites, the twins were nothing like their adoptive parents, Ray and Lisa. Though at times it seems like the wrong twin ended up with the wrong parent, they eventually became one big family in Ray’s suburban Detroit home. It’s there that Tia and Tamera were constantly bothered by Roger, who’s what Steve Urkel would’ve been if Steve Urkel looked like Batman from Immature.

After two seasons on ABC, Sister, Sister was cancelled, but The WB scooped it up for the third season. Keeping it in the family, the Mowry twins’ little brother Tahj appeared in one episode as T.J. Henderson, the genius from his own sitcom Smart Guy. Sherman Hemsley, of The Jeffersons, played Ray’s father and Kid of Kid ‘n Play even had a walk-on as one of Tia’s bosses. The history of black TV has been well documented by black TV.

19. Everybody Hates Chris (2005-2009) 4 years

Network: The CW

Show Setting – Brooklyn, New York

Chris Rock’s always been candid about his upbringing in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, often explaining that the hardships of his childhood fueled his career. Not only did they push him to rise above his situation, they provided fodder for his comedy routine. Bring the Pain, one of Rock’s finest stand-up performances, draws heavily on his childhood, and in the fall of 2005, he brought those memories to TV with Everybody Hates Chris.

Set during the 1980s, Everybody Hates Chris chronicled Rock’s painful fight for respect, a battle that started in his own home. On the show, his parents constantly harass him; he lives in the shadow of his younger brother; even his little sister gets the best of him. He’s bullied in his neighborhood and at school, and everything that he wants always seems out of reach.

Everybody Hates Chris was praised for using humor to interrogate race and class problems in America. It garnered several Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, in addition to claiming several NAACP Image Awards. In 2007, Tyler James Williams (who played the lead), became the youngest person to win an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. He was just 14.

20. Moesha (1996-2001) 5 years

Network: UPN

Show Setting – Los Angeles, California

Ice Cube is the original “Leimert Park Legend,” and currently the title is held by Dom Kennedy, but from the mid-’90s until the early aughts, it belonged to Moesha Mitchell. Brandy starred as the show’s title character, a teen living with her middle-class African-American family in South Central.

Moesha and her younger brother, Myles, lived with their father Frank and his new wife, Dee. Moesha’s circle of friends included the loud Kim, the talkative Niecy, and the ever-present Hakeem. The teens frequented The Den, managed by Andell, one of Moesha’s older friends and role models. In a “wait a minute” moment, Brandy’s real-life brother Ray J joined the series for the final two seasons as Frank’s nephew, Dorian.

The show, one of UPN’s biggest hits, bravely dealt with issues like drugs, race, premarital sex, and infidelity. Similar to many great black sitcoms, Moesha had plenty of guest appearances, including Onyx’s Fredro Starr as Moesha’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Q. Bernie Mac had a recurring role as Frank’s brother, Bernie, and athletes such as Kobe Bryant (who took Brandy to his Senior Prom), Vince Carter, and Bo Jackson all had walk-ons.

One imagines that Brandy’s status in the music world can be credited with the cameos from Master P, DMX, LeAnn Rimes, Russell Simmons, and Big Pun, among others.

After Countess Vaughn left the show after the fourth season, a spinoff called The Parkers was created, based around Kim and her mother, Nikki, played by comedian Mo’Nique. Andell went on to appear on The Parkers as a friend of Nikki’s.


21. The Steve Harvey Show (1996-2002)  6 years

Network: The WB

Show Setting – Chicago, Illinois

The only person who gets a pass for wearing Choppa Suits in 2013? Steve Harvey. Before he wrote Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and opted for a more aerodynamic hairstyle, he played Chicago native Steve Hightower on The WB’s Steve Harvey Show.

In the show, the former funk legend and member of Steve Hightower and the High Tops was forced to take a job as a music teacher at Chicago’s Booker T. Washington High School. Because of budget cuts, he found himself forced to teach drama and art as well. His longtime friend Cedric, love interest Lovita, and former classmate Regina “Piggy” Lane, joined him at Booker T.

The students were just as important, and none got more airtime than Bullethead and Romeo. Lady of Rage (yes, “Afro Puffs” Lady of Rage) frequently showed up as the hulking Coretta Cox, and Keenan and Kel (Keenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell) also found time for guest appearances. Fellow All That alum Lori Beth Denberg was a mainstay as Lydia Gutman.

Like other black sitcoms, The Steve Harvey Show featured notable guest stars from the music world, including Teena Marie, who jokingly mistook Hightower for Lionel Richie in one episode. Irregular reunions of Steve Hightower and the High Tops always made for great episodes, as they brought back comedian Don “D.C.” Curry and Mr. Big himself, Ronald Isley. “When the Funk Hits the Fan” never gets old.

22. What’s Happening!! (1976-1979) 3 years

Network: ABC

Show Setting – Los Angeles

After debuting as a summer program in 1976, What’s Happening!! cashed in on solid ratings and the failure of other shows to become regular weekly programming on ABC that fall. The sitcom hooked audiences with the three beloved teens living in Watts—the bespectacled Raj, the forever-smiling Dwayne, and the man with the famous dance, Rerun.

Raj was an outstanding student with dreams of one day being a writer. Rerun struggled academically, but was an amazing dancer. Dwayne always brought positive energy, frequently making his presence known by exclaiming “Hey, hey, hey!” when entering a room. Occasionally meddling in their lives and pulling zero punches was Raj’s younger sister, Dee. The guys usually hung out at Rob’s Place, where they always ran into Shirley, a boisterous waitress who was just as eager to rib the gang as Dee was.

Known for its recognizable theme song, What’s Happening!! was popular enough to draw guests like the Doobie Brothers. It yielded a spinoff entitled What’s Happening Now!! that aired from 1985 to 1988; the old cast returned to give the world an early look at a young Martin Lawrence, who worked as a busboy at Rob’s.

23. Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper (1992-1997) 5 years

Network: ABC

Show Setting – Oakland, California

Comedian Mark Curry landed his first major role as Mark Cooper, a former Golden State Warrior who winds up teaching and coaching basketball at Oakbridge High School, in Oakland. Cooper moves in with longtime friend Robin and her friend Vanessa (played by Holly Robinson, truly the bee’s knees in the ’90s).

As no ’90s sitcom was complete without an annoying neighbor, Coop struggled with Tyler, in addition the stress of living with the two women. When Dawnn Lewis left the show, Robin was replaced by Mark’s cousin Geneva, who brought her young daughter Nicole (Raven-Symoné, prior to coming into her own as a bankable star) along.

As the show progressed, Tyler and Nicole became best friends and Coop began to view both Tyler and Earvin Rodman (a young Omar Gooding) as younger brothers. His crush on Vanessa evolved into romance, and the two were a couple by the end of the series.

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper was at its best once added to ABC’s brilliant TGIF lineup. Though Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper enjoyed several theme songs, none was better than the original, where stars Lewis and Robinson collaborated with En Vogue to sing Cooper’s praises.
24. Roc (1991-1994)  3 years

Network: Fox

Show Setting – Baltimore, Maryland

During the ’90s, Fox ran black television, and one of the network’s lesser-known gems was Roc. Set in Baltimore, the show followed the lives of the title character (played by Charles S. Dutton) and his wife, Eleanor. Roc’s younger brother Joey provided occasional humor and drama.

After beginning life as a sitcom, Roc made the bold move to air each episode from the second season as a live performance. Not only did this play to the strengths of the four main cast members—each of whom were trained stage actors—it made Roc the first scripted American television show since the ’50s to broadcast an entire season live.

Roc’s narratives offered hard looks at drugs and violence in urban communities, but without losing sight of the mission: offering a positive look at African-Americans doing their best to make an honest living. Unfortunately, the show’s positive imagery couldn’t save it from low ratings.

25. 227 (1985-1990) 5 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – Washington,D.C

When thinking of D.C. in the ’80s, you’re instantly reminded of the Redskins’ Doug Williams becoming the first black quarterback to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory, John Thompson’s Georgetown Hoyas becoming black America’s unofficial basketball team, and the notorious Rayful Edmond flooding the streets with crack.

Add 227 to that list, too, if it hasn’t already flashed in your brain. Anchored by the dwellers of a middle-class apartment building, the show primarily focused on the lives of Lester and Mary Jenkins, and their teenage daughter Brenda. Joining them were the unfiltered Pearl and her grandson Calvin, who would later become Brenda’s boyfriend. 227 became a showcase for the over-the-top personality of Sandra (played by the perfectly over-the-top Jackée Harry) and a young Countess Vaughn, who earned a recurring role after her appearance on Star Search.

During its peak, 227 experienced better ratings than every program with a largely African-American cast (with the obvious exception of The Cosby Show). These days, it lives on in syndication and an extremely random appearance in Pineapple Express. It’s more than your grandmom’s favorite show—it’s your friendly neighborhood weed dealer’s favorite, too.
26. The Bernie Mac Show (2001-2006) 5 years

Network: Fox

Show Setting – Los Angeles

It all began with a segment from The Original Kings of Comedy, where Bernie Mac took in his sister’s children after she entered rehab. Fox turned the situation into a weekly sitcom that was much different from what fans of Mac were used to, specifically his loud, animated tirades. Mac stayed true to his signature humor as much as the constraints of broadcast television permitted, but just like in real life, his love for his family was more than apparent.

The show was also famous for Mac’s frequent breaking of the fourth wall, which he did to relay the importance or absurdity of a given moment to the audience. The Bernie Mac Show went strong on Fox for five seasons, seeing a 100th episode before the series ended.

Because Mac played himself, there were plenty of celebrity cameos a la Curb Your Enthusiasm, ranging from Hugh Hefner to Shaquille O’Neal. Bernie Mac passed away in August 2008, but his stand-up, numerous film roles, and all form integral parts of his untouchable legacy.

27. In the House

28. Julia (1968-1971)

Network: NBC

Show Setting – New York

This pioneering show starred Diahann Carroll as Julia Baker, a widowed single mother working as a nurse. After her husband was killed fighting in Vietnam, Baker was left to raise her young son, Corey, on her own. Well-known black actors Paul Winfield and Fred Williamson appeared as potential suitors for Carroll’s character. The show ran for three seasons on NBC before it was cancelled in 1971 after Carroll and creator Hal Kanter decided that they wanted to explore other projects.

Critics attacked the show for the lack of a male role model, and because of bold decisions like that, Julia will always be remembered as a trailblazer, and something almost every media student at a historically black college or university has pressed into their memory forever.



29.My Wife and Kids

Show Setting – Connecticut

30. Smart Guy

Network – UPN

Show Setting – Washington,D.C


Dramas and TV Shows

  1. Empire


Network: Fox

Show Setting – New York City

Is an American musical drama television series created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. Although filmed inChicago,[2][3] the show is based in New York and it centers on a hip hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, and the drama among the members of the founders’ family as they fight for control of the company.

Empire debuted on Fox on January 7, 2015. On January 17, 2015, the series was renewed for an 18-episode second season,[4] which premiered on September 23, 2015.[5][6] On January 15, 2016, the series was renewed for a third season, which is set to premiere on September 21, 2016.[7]

The show’s premiere ranked as Fox’s highest-rated debut in three years. Viewership has increased continuously; Empire is the first primetime broadcast series in at least 23 years to have its viewership increase week to week for its first five episodes.[78] The show continues to increase its viewership with further episodes.[79]Episodes of the show have also been heavily watched on Video on Demand and other streaming services.[80] As of its first season finale, Empire has now surpassedThe Big Bang Theory as the highest rated scripted program in the 2014-2015 television season. The first season finale is also the highest rated debut season finale since May 2005, when Grey’s Anatomy ended its first season. Empire’s season one finale grew 82 percent from its series premiere, making it the show that has grown the most over the course of its first season since Men in Trees during the 2006-2007 season

2. Real Housewives of Atlanta

Network: Bravo

Show Setting – Atlanta, Georgia

Is an American reality television series that premiered on October 7, 2008, on Bravo. Developed as the third installment of The Real Housewives franchise, following The Real Housewives of Orange County and New York City, it has aired eight seasons and focuses on the personal and professional lives of several women residing in Atlanta, Georgia.

As of February 2014, it was the highest-rated installment of The Real Housewives franchise and the most-watched series airing on Bravo.

3. Luke Cage

Network NBC

Show Setting – New York City


4. Love and Hip Hop New York

Network: VH1

Show Setting – New York City

5. Love and Hip Hop Atlanta

Network : VH1

Show Setting Atlanta

6. Love and Hip Hop Hollwyood

Network : VH1

Show Setting- Los Angeles

7. Power

Network Start

Show Setting- New York


Network : Starz

Show Setting : New York City

8. Single Ladies

Network: BET

Show Setting- Atlanta, Georgia

9. Atlanta (TV Show)

Network: Fox

Show Setting- Atlanta, Georgia


30 Richest Black American neighborhoods

  1. Prince George County, Maryland, DC area

Prince George County

2. Atlanta Southern Suburbs

3. Los Ángeles Southwest Suburbs

4. Chicago South Suburbs

5. New York Southeast Queens and inner Nassau County, and Rockland County

6. Houston Southwest Suburbs

S Houston Suburbs Black Population Growth Map

Houston does not have large “all-Black” suburbs that are typical of places like Atlanta or Washington DC. However, for those who want to enjoy the middle class and upper middle class lifestyle within the same culture, this is where it is most possible.

Cities like Missouri City 46%, Fresno 60%, Stafford 27% Black, Brookshire 38% Black

Middle class African Americans have been living in significant numbers in Missouri City since the 1970s and in 2000, it was named a model city for Middle-class African Americans by Black Entertainment Television (BET). It is a family oriented city with a combination of  white collar professionals and well paid blue collar workers

7. Dallas Southwest Suburbs – “Best Southwest is a term commonly applied to four Dallas suburbs – Cedar Hill 51%Black , DeSoto, 70% Black , Duncanville 30% Black, and Lancaster 69% Black – in southwestern Dallas County, Texas (USA). As of the 2010 census, the four suburbs had a combined population of 171,000.[1]

The term “Best Southwest” was first used when the Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster chambers of commerce formed a partnership to improve cooperation between the cities.[2] They formed the Best Southwest Chamber Partnership in 1986, and it was incorporated in 1990.The four municipalities, frequently work together on local events and projects.

8. Miami Broward County Suburbs

9. Detroit Northwest Suburbs

10. South Westchester County and Rockland County, New York

Image result for South Westchester County New York


1. Woodmore, Maryland $161,000  D.C Metro ( Number 30 in America) Average home Price – $600,000

The Woodmore and Mitchellville community is notable as one the most affluent predominantly African-American community in the United States.[3] The population of Woodmore (defined by CDP 86710) was 3,936 at the 2010 census.[4]

The gated community “Woodmore” is centered on a country club; the community is planned to consist of 398 single-family homes on 799 acres (3.2 km2).[5]


2. View Park-Windsor Hills, CA- $160,168  Los Angeles Metro

2. Average home price $ 849,000

Neighborhoods in Windsor Hills and View Park are no longer exclusively black neighborhoods and on at least one block where columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson lives, the majority of residents are now white. (Courtesy photo)

3. Baldwin Hills, CA- $157,033  Los Angeles Metro


4. South Orange, New Jersey $144,000

Average home price $470,000

5. Ladera Heights, CA- $132,824  Los Angeles Metro

  1. Average home price $1,136,400

Ladera Heights originated in the late 1940s with the development of “Old Ladera”. In the 1960s, custom homes were built in “New Ladera”. Prominent builders included Valentine and Gallant. Robert Earl, who designed many of the Valentine homes, went on to build large multimillion-dollar estates throughout Southern California and in other countries. Neighboring Fox Hills contained a beautiful golf course with rolling hills that backed up to Wooster Avenue. Valentine built Robert Earl designed homes on Wooster overlooking the Fox Hills golf course. Years later, Donald Trump asked Earl to design estate homes with panoramic views of his Palos Verdes golf course.

Baseball player Frank Robinson and other sports players began moving to Ladera Heights in the early 1970s.[3]Many celebrities have lived in Ladera Heights over the years, including Peter Vidmar (Olympic Gold 84), Vanessa Williams (Actress), Chris Darden (Attorney), Chris Strait (Comedian), Lisa Leslie and Olympia Scott (Basketball), Ken Norton (Boxing), Arron Afflalo, Tyler, The Creator (Rapper) and Byron Scott (Basketball)


6. Flossmoor, Illinois $122,000 Chicago Metro

Average home price $214,000

7. Mitchellville, MD- $118,022  D.C Metro


8. Forest Hills, Washington,D.C $116,000

9. Fort Washington, MD- $114,243  D.C Metro

10. Glenn Dale, D.C Metro $113,000

11. Kettering, MD- $107,008 D.C Metro

12. Lakeview, Long Island, NY- $117,000  New York City Metro


13. Palmer Woods, Detroit $109,000

Average home Price – $540,000

14. Birchwood Knolls, Westbury, New York  $107,000

15. Lake Kesslerwood- Charlevoix, Indianapolis

16. Cambria Heights, Queens, New York City  $100,000


Average home cost $468,000

17. Laurelton, Queens, New York City $99,000


18. University District, Detroit  $98,000

19. Wheatley Heights, New York

20. Friendly, Maryland $82,000

21. Riverside Terrace, Houston, Texas $81,000

Average home price $514,000



22. Mount Airy, Philadelphia  $80,000

23. Washington Terrace-Kingsbury Place, Saint Louis

24. Hillcrest, New York $76,000

friendly, maryland

25. Uniondale, New York $76,000


uniondale, ny

26. Miramar, Florida $75,000  Miami Metro

27. Collier Heights, Atlanta, Georgia


28. Cascade, Atlanta, Georgia

29. Stockbridge, Georgia

30. Lake Ridge, Cedar Hill, Texas   $60,000

Average home Price – $420,000


Most expensive Black neighborhoods

  1. Ladera Heights, Los Angeles  1.1 million
  2. View Park-Windsor Hills, Los Angeles $849,000
  3. Woodmore, Maryland $600,000